Ashley Arraras

ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY

  • Focus: Environmental Pollution, Consumer Protection
  • Phone: 212-558-5500
  • Fax: 212-344-5461
  • New York Office
    700 Broadway
    New York, NY 10003

Biography

The e-discovery legal field is a niche area. It’s looking for the needle in the haystack. My role is to research all of the documents in a case, searching for that one piece to clinch the case in our client’s favor. These documents are the backbone of facts in the case.

Combining Law and Environmentalism

Ashley Arraras developed an interest in environmental work — advocacy, lobbying, research, and internships — during law school. After graduation, she moved toward a more legal focus and did e-discovery for various litigations including the opioid epidemic, antitrust matters, and contractual disputes. Now she is blending the two, combining her interests in environmental work with law.

“I always wanted to work on environmental change because it benefits the whole world. My work with Weitz & Luxenberg’s Environmental, Toxic Torts, and Consumer Protection Litigation Unit allows me to align my legal work with environmental activism.”

Storytelling Through E-Discovery

Attorneys tell their clients’ stories. In e-discovery, attorneys go through millions of documents. This legal research process is how each client’s story gains substance.

In e-discovery, attorneys review all of the documents from the defendant — the company we are suing. If the defendant is a business, we look at their related internal policies and where there were failures or lapses.

“The documents reveal key evidentiary facts from which I develop a timeline of events leading up to the problem. This helps to explain and prove liability or negligence. I work on the client’s behalf, uncovering facts which benefit them and their legal case,” Ms. Arraras explains.

Environmentally Focused Case Work

Ms. Arraras is currently working on W&L’s class action lawsuit on behalf of victims of the February 2023 freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. This incident led to a noxious fire and the combustion of at least six different toxic chemicals.

The fire burned for days — spewing thick, dark, smoke over the East Palestine community and surrounding areas. Both state and federal officials ordered an evacuation.

As many as 2,000 or more residents were exposed to the smoke from the fire. Many have suffered severe injury due to the Norfolk Southern Railway Company’s negligence. People have suffered symptoms related to exposure to polluted air, soil, and drinking and groundwater.

The railway company’s actions — after and in response to the primary event — failed to exercise due care. Norfolk Southern Railway should have known burning hundreds of thousands of pounds of volatile substances is hazardous to human health and contaminates local environments.

Prior Experience Highlights

Before coming to W&L, Ms. Arraras worked in the e-discovery area of law for several other firms. While there, she honed the skills she now brings to e-discovery for our clients.

In these positions, she built and reviewed searches in electronic discovery platforms. These searches were used to identify key documents for depositions and in fact development for litigation and arbitration.

She has also conducted start-to-finish privilege reviews of confidential information. These went from first-pass through to final edit of privilege logs, to ensure the protection of privileged information.

The work Ms. Arraras did included the review of documents for responsiveness, privilege, and confidentiality — in both first and second-level quality control reviews.

She has also provided Spanish line-by-line translations, along with summary translations for review purposes.

Legal Work for the Government and Non-Profit Sectors

Earlier, she worked with the U.S. Department of Justice. In this role, she analyzed and evaluated business records, correspondence, recordings, and deposition transcripts. She did this to aid the Assistant United States Attorneys with decisions on trial strategies pertaining to the National Park Service.

Additionally, Ms. Arraras served as a legal fellow at the Center for Biological Diversity in Washington, D.C. While there, her work involved acting as a liaison between the organization and members of Congress and their legislative staff. She also was busy coordinating campaigns with the environmental community and interested stakeholders, and creating a comprehensive settlement agreements database for internal use.

On the Personal Side

When not working, Ms. Arraras enjoys hiking, skiing, long walks in the mountains, and writing fiction. She especially values time spent with her young son, husband, and two dogs.

Publications

  • Contributor and Editorial Committee member, Gardana, R.L., “Damages Recoverable in Maritime Matters, Second Edition,” (January 1, 2020).
  • Contributor and editor, “Chapter 18, Maritime Security Law; Florida Maritime Law and Practice,” (5th ed. 2017 and 6th ed. 2019).
  • Author, “Is Newer Technology Always Better?: Why Indigenous Peoples’ Technology Should be Incorporated into the International Fight Against Climate Change,” Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Volume 11: Issue 2, (Winter 2011).

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